Things To Do In Burlington, Vermont – 22 Things You’ll Enjoy

When it comes to planning a trip to Vermont, you simply have to include Burlington.

Burlington is the largest and most exciting city in Vermont. Sitting alongside Lake Champlain, this vibrant city is a tourism hotspot, offering visitors a wide array of wonderful things to do.

Things To Do In Burlington, Vermont - 22 Things You’ll Enjoy

For starters, the city is near the stunning Green Mountain range. There’s then the city center which is full of vibrancy and fun activities.

inally, there’s the cultural hub of the city where you’ll find a variety of museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks.

With so much to offer, it can be easy to miss out on some of the best attractions. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Burlington.

If you seek the best Vermontonian experiences, make sure you keep reading!

1. Church Street Marketplace

We’ll kickstart our list with one of the most popular locations in the city.

No matter what time of day it is, Church Street Marketplace is well worth a visit. Church Street Marketplace is a popular shopping and dining spot consisting of four blocks.

Those blocks sit between Pearl and Main Streets and feature some of the city’s most historic buildings.

Whether you want to check out the local architecture, explore the boutique shops, or grab a tasty bite to eat, Church Street Marketplace has something for everyone.

The marketplace also has some of the best museums in Vermont and a very colorful nightlife. The beer drinkers will appreciate the local breweries found in the marketplace too.

2. Lake Champlain Waterfront

Lake Champlain is the largest lake in Vermont. Burlington is lucky enough to have this lake bordering it for miles.

As a result, locals and tourists alike are given plenty of opportunities to enjoy everything the lake has to offer.

Along the shoreline, you’ll find a wide range of great walking spots.

The best is arguably the walk found at Waterfront Park. You’ll even find the odd brewery not too far away from the lake’s edge.

To learn more about the lake, make sure you pay the ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain a visit.

This is a nature and science museum found on the waterfront. It’s a great place to take children.

Finally, you could also take a boat trip (see also: 5 Best Miami Boat Trips To The Bahamas)on the lake to soak in the best views of the city and some local wildlife.

3. ECHO, Leahy Center For Lake Champlain

It’s only right that we talk about ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in a bit more detail.

Exploring this science and nature museum is easily one of the best things to do in the city. It is a brilliant destination to visit with your children.

The museum is an aquatic campus that aims to share science with as many people as possible.

With a heavy focus on marine biology, you can expect to see a lot of aquarium exhibits, most of which relate to Lake Champlain.

There’s also a popular Dinosaur Discoveries exhibition, animal displays, and Frog World. With lake shows, two floors, and outdoor exhibits, you’ll want to spend most of the day here.

4. Fleming Museum Of Art

Another museum you need to visit in Burlington is the Fleming Museum of Art.

You’ll find this museum nestled into the heart of the city. It is an anthropology and art museum that contains almost 30,000 individual artifacts.

In fact, this museum has the largest collection of artifacts in Vermont.

Inside the museum, you’ll find an amazing collection of permanent and rotating exhibits, all of which give you the chance to learn more about art and history.

Those of you that like art will love the impressive collection of art pieces from the likes of Rembrandt, Rockwell, and Picasso. This is a great place to visit if you want a cultural experience.

5. Oakledge Park

Next up, we have Oakledge Park. Situated in the South End of Burlington, along the shores of Lake Champlain, this park is arguably the best place to kick back and relax.

A popular picnic spot, Oakledge park is the place to go if you want a more relaxed day that the whole family can enjoy.

The park has two beach areas – the Cover and Blanchard Beach, a playground, walking trails, bocce, volleyball, and tennis courts, charcoal grills, and plenty of grassy areas.

With so much on offer, you could quite easily spend the whole day here taking in the views, playing with your children, and even trying a new sport.

This is also a great location to start a long walk into the city.

6. Flynn Center For The Performing Arts

Those of you that have a love for the performing arts have to visit the Flynn Center.

The Flynn Center is responsible for Burlington’s packed music and performance schedule. The center has a 1,411-seat auditorium where regular shows are performed.

The center is home to the Vermont Youth Orchestra, the Lyric Theatre, UVM Lane Series, the Vermont Stage Company, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

The wide variety of shows and performances on offer is incredible. No matter what time of year it is, you’ll find something going on.

Aside from the local performing arts groups, Broadway tours such as Hairspray have also performed at the center.

There’s even a 180-seat auditorium for more intimate performances and an art gallery that displays the work of local artists.

7. Shelburne Museum

The Shelburne Museum is the largest history and art museum in northern New England. Therefore, it is also one of the most popular attractions in Burlington.

Spanning 45 acres, the Shelburne Museum is home to an impressive 25 historic buildings.

This includes the historic General store and round barn. Taking you back in time, this museum is probably the best place in the city to visit if you want to learn more about Burlington’s history.

The museum is home to a variety of historical artifacts, several horse-drawn carriages, an antique carousel, a 220-foot steamboat, and much more.

n addition to these permanent exhibitions, the Shelburne Museum also hosts a range of rotating exhibits too. This ensures no guest’s visit is ever the same.

8. Burlington Greenway

The Burlington Greenway, also known as the Burlington Bike Path features a paved bike path that encompasses Connects Park and Lake Champlain.

Extremely popular in the summer, this is a great place to come if you want to enjoy the great outdoors. The path consists of just under 8 miles of undisturbed cycling trail.

Along the trail, you’ll be treated to some of the best views of the lake, charming green spaces, a look into local life, and some of the local residential areas.

Despite being a bike path, the Greenway does offer more. You can also walk, run, jog, or skate along the path. You’ll also find that this path is a popular dog-walking location.

Running along the Burlington Greenway is also extremely popular, with most locals getting their daily exercise here.

9. Vermont Comedy Club

One of the best-wet weather plans you can have in Burlington is to visit the Vermont Comedy Club.

Perfect for an entertaining evening or wet afternoon, the Vermont Comedy Club can be found right in the heart of Burlington.

Providing guests with plenty of laughs, the comedy performances at the club are well-varied, unique, interesting, and surprisingly hands-on.

You can expect the acts to drag you up on stage for some laughs.

The weekend is the best time to visit the comedy club. This is when most acts perform, with both locally and nationally recognized comedians performing.

During the week, guests are given the chance to perform. The club runs weekly improv classes and open mic nights.

10. Ben & Jerry’s

If you’re keen to learn more about local culture in Burlington, Vermont, you have to pay the local Ben & Jerry’s a visit.

This may seem a little strange, but Ben & Jerry’s is reflective of the local culture in Burlington.

The reason for this is that the iconic brand started in Burlington.

Famous for delicious ice cream and impressive flavors, Ben & Jerry’s has always been a mainstay in Vermont, so you simply have to pay the store a visit.

Aside from visiting the local ice cream parlor to pick up a sweet treat, you should also consider stopping off at the factory for a tour.

Here, you’ll learn all about how your favorite ice cream is made. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to tuck into some ice cream too.

11. North Beach Park

If you plan on visiting Burlington in the summer, you should leave a day free for kicking back at the beach.

After all, is there a better way to spend a warm summer’s day than by the beach with friends and family? We seriously don’t think there is.

One of the best beaches in Burlington is North Beach Park. North Beach Park comes with a beautiful white sand beach, wonderful views of the lake, and plenty of space to enjoy a fun day with family and friends.

This beach is the largest in Burlington, so you never need to worry about it getting too busy. North Beach Park also happens to be the only beach in Vermont with a lifeguard.

Some of the best things to do here include playing beach sports, swimming in the glistening Lake Champlain waters, trying a new watersport, and relaxing in the sun.

12. Three Needs

If you’re looking for something better suited to adults, pay Three Needs a visit. This is a charming bar with a relaxed setting and a fantastic atmosphere.

First opened in 1995, this bar’s owner had a clear vision in mind. That vision was to create a relaxed atmosphere where anyone can feel welcome. That is exactly what the bar offers.

Today, the bar is one of the most entertaining places to chill out with friends and enjoy a wide range of local brews.

The bar also has a great food menu, and a handful of games you can play. We can highly recommend tucking into one of Three Needs famous pizzas.

You’ll be pleased to know that Three Needs is open seven days a week.

13. Switchback Brewing Company

Another great place to enjoy a refreshing beer is Switchback Brewing Company.

This amazing microbrewery is nestled in the heart of Burlington. It is a place locals and tourists head to enjoy some of the very best unfiltered local ales.

Founded in 2002, this brewery prides itself on crafting the most amazing, unique, unexpected, great-tasting, and relatable beers.

What more could we ask for?

What makes the beers at Switchback so special is the unfiltered brewing process used to make each ale.

This process helps create delicate, subtly flavored beers with fantastic taste. You can get your hands on an ice-cold Switchback beer every day at the Tap Room.

There are 20 unique beers to try so you better get started!

14. Ice Hockey At The University Of Vermont

If you like your sports, taking in an ice hockey game at the University of Vermont is something you’re sure to enjoy.

In fact, we’d argue that you don’t even have to be a sports fan to enjoy it.

Why watch ice hockey at the university we hear you ask? Well, the University of Vermont, the largest school in Vermont, has an incredible ice hockey team.

The university is an NCAA Division 1 school that competes in a wide range of sports, but the ice hockey team is the best.

The school has incredibly produced 18 National Hockey League players already. As a result, games here are usually full of excitement, intense, and thoroughly enjoyable.

15. The World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet

The next thing to do in Burlington is a bizarre one, but definitely one you’ll enjoy.

Burlington is known for many things, but did you know that it is also known for being the home to the tallest filing cabinet in the world? If not, you do now!

Found in the South End of Burlington, the filing cabinet was built by Bren Alvarez in 2002.

It consists of a whopping 38 cabinets welded together. It stands at 38 feet tall.

16. Ethan Allen Homestead Museum

One of the most historic sites in Burlington, Vermont is the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum.

Built in 1787, the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum is a historic house unsurprisingly constructed by Ethan Allen.

You would think the cabinet stands out like a sore thumb but it actually fits in perfectly in this artsy part of Burlington.

You’ll also find a range of craft shops and sculptures at this location.

Sat opposite a 300-acre park, the house is set in a wonderful landscape that features beautiful gardens, picnic areas, and walking/biking trails.

Giving visitors the chance to step back in time, the house museum is open every day for interesting tours. Within the museum, you’ll be able to observe the old home of the Allen family in all its glory.

You’ll learn the history of the area and the Allen family. After the tour, you can check out the local area and explore the stunning scenery and all it has to offer.

17. Burlington Farmers Market

The Burlington Farmers Market was open for business in 1980. Based at the University, this market has been the agricultural hub of the city for the last 40 years.

Open every Saturday between spring and fall, the market draws in thousands of tourists and locals every year.

A wonderful place to find local produce, experience Burlington agriculture, and meet the local farmers. You’ll love the atmosphere and friendliness at the market.

The best thing about the market is the community feeling it creates. The market is also a community hub, not just a tourist attraction.

You’ll also experience local crafts, arts, and more at this market so make sure you check it out if it’s open during your visit to Burlington.

18. Lake Champlain Chocolates

Lake Champlain Chocolates is a family-owned chocolate company that first opened for operation in the 1980s.

Today, the company not only makes the best chocolate in Vermont but also allows visitors to explore the inner workings of the flagship store.

If you love chocolate, which let’s face it, who doesn’t, this is a great attraction for you.

High-quality ingredients, expert craftsmanship, and creativity go into making the Lake Champlain Chocolates sweet treats.

With a tour, you can learn how chocolate is made. Of course, you can also sample some of the chocolate to see what you think.

Once you’ve explored the store, sit back and relax at the store’s cafe with a fresh cup of coffee and some chocolate. Don’t forget to buy some goodies to take home with you too.

19. Burlington Edible History Tour

A more unique way to explore the city and learn more about its history is through the Burlington Edible History Tour.

Giving tourists the opportunity to delve into Burlington’s history, this tour is a relaxed two-mile walking tour that aims to teach tourists about Vermont through a food tour.

The knowledgeable guides take visitors on a journey through the Burlington food scene, introducing them to tasty bites throughout.

Visitors are treated to yummy bites to eat from five different restaurants. Each of these restaurants serve local food.

As you walk, you’ll be told stories about Burlington’s food scene and how it has changed over the years. This is a unique and interesting way to learn more about the city.

20. Petra Cliffs Climbing Center

If the weather is not on your side and you want to do something that will get your blood pumping, stop off at Petra Cliff Climbing Center.

A fantastic destination for families and groups of friends, this climbing center can be found just a few miles away from downtown Burlington.

The center is a large indoor climbing space designed for people of all ages and abilities.

There are various activities to take part in. These include climbing exercise classes, one-to-one coaching, mountain education classes, and climbing skill sessions.

The center also offers a First Time Climbers program for children and novices that have never climbed before.

The Mountaineering School might appeal to you too.

21. Burlington Surf Club

Burlington also has a decent surf scene.

Admittedly, the surf here is better suited to beginners, but it does offer more experienced surfers the opportunity to focus on specific movements and techniques.

If you’ve never surfed before or want some additional coaching, you should visit Burlington Surf Club. Situated along the shores of Lake Champlain, this surf school has all the help you need.

For starters, the school happily provides all the equipment you need. The school also offers all the necessary facilities you need to get changed and store your belongings.

After that, you can hit the water on your own or pay for a class with expert surf coaches.

The school also runs other activities and daily fitness classes if that is something you’d enjoy more.

22. ArtsRiot

We’ll finish our list with ArtsRiot. ArtsRiot is a cool arts venue found in downtown Burlington. Founded in 2012, ArtsRiot has a lot to offer.

It is a fantastic place to take in a live concert, watch a theatrical performance, enjoy comedy, or simply tuck into some delicious food.

Showcasing the most amazing culinary, performing, and visual arts, this venue is fun, lively, exciting, and unique. The chances are you’ll visit more than once during your stay in Vermont.

At the very least, you should enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at this trendy venue. The artwork alone and the tasty food are enough to please anyone.

Final Thoughts

Burlington, Vermont is a city that has an incredible amount to offer. This lively, unique, busy, and vibrant city has a rich history and beautiful landscape waiting for you.

In this post, we’ve shown you the best things to do in Burlington. As the largest city in Vermont, there’s a lot to cover, but we’re satisfied that we showed you the very best things that you won’t want to miss.

Whether you love the great outdoors, performing arts, local foods, sports, or cultural museums, there’s a range of great options on our list for you.

All you have to do now is decide what you want to do most during your visit to Burlington.

Andrea Reeves